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Tapestry

Why Are They Just Playing?!


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That was a comment made to me about my reception class. Its so frustrating that some people in Key Stage 1 still excpect to see formal work in Reception. I cannot believe that people still have this attitude, 'they should be writing not playing in the sand'!!! Give me strength. So who is not doing any play and doing literacy and numeracy all morning? Because apparently thats what I am supposed to do, oh and get rid of all the 'play' things now they are nearly Year 1!

 

 

Sorry for the rant, it just really upset me. I am sure that other people have these problems too.

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Rant away Luckyquack. It is annoying when you know how much they get out of their "just playing". This is the problem we even have at pre-school. Some parents can't wait to get them into more formal education. I had one parent say once that she was sending her child to nursery because she thought he would get more out of it!!!! She couldn't understand that we do the same as nurseries. Then her excuse was that she didn't want him with the little ones as it would probably hold him back! Couldn't convince her otherwise I'm afraid. In fact the older children get a lot out of having the younger children there because we get them to help in looking after them when they first start.

Linda

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It's a sad world we live in sometimes i'm afraid :( I have tried to convince many parents of the advantages of play, one mum even said, 'well I could do that at home, I send him here to learn something'!!!! the little lad was only 3 years old! :o Ooooh it makes me so mad! xD

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Me too!!!

 

Sometimes I reach boiling point - a close colleague recently ended up calling me away for an 'important phone call' as she could see what was happening. The values of teamwork!! xD

 

Still, WE know, don't we? :o

 

Sue :D

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I just cant believe its still happening, all I hear is that I should be thinking what level they are on in the NC, now it seems that it is not enough for them to achieve the Early Learning Goals. I will not be teaching Reception next year, and whilst I love teaching the age group I am sick and tired of all the different opionions about how they should be taught at that age.

 

But I agree at least WE know :D

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oh Luckyquack how sad :o

and sad too that you are leaving Reception. I hope the move is one you want?

 

Perhaps you're moving to year 1 and can introduce the play philosophy there.

There are moves afoot to change the learning in KS1 and the primary Strategy as I'm sure you're aware allows enlightened schools to change.

 

Where ever you go, keep fighting the cause. Thats the way to raise standards. :D

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Susan, Im hoping to do just that next year as I will be having one foot in the year 1 camp, and one in the nursery camp. Not quite sure how to split myself down the middle but it could be fun. We are already looking at the resources we need (like sand water and role play); and the timetable. but the other year one teacher just keeps frowning at me (I wonder why?).

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We had that reaction from the year 1 staff last year when we did this and one of them actually prefers FS, or so she says!!!

She's still worried even now that the children are behind and yet they have made such tremendous progress, the year1 coord who came out of year 2 to do this is very happy.

I suppose though there can be a certain amount of security in the prescribed curriculum, you just teach it regardless and wait for someone else to pick up the pieces. :o

 

Good luck with it anyway Mundia.

how many children are involved?

Keep us posted.

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I am moving to year 1 in a new school, which encourages practical activities and supports 'play'. I cannot wait :o I just pity to next years intake of Reception.

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I can't say I'm surprised you're moving on luckyquack although as you say poor children. I'm sure everything will go fine for you but wish you luck in your new job. Don't forget to let us know on here.

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I supervise a pre school and at our open evening last week i went through all the planning, observations and showed all parents what the children got out of 'just playing'...it worked really well shocked a lot of them.... :o

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What makes me mad also is the lack of understanding about how much effort is required for the planning, preparation, setting up and teaching of nursery and reception children!! Keeping all those balls in the air all day would probably make those KS1/2 colleagues run for cover. After 20 years of teaching I still feel that i'm fighting the good fight where FS is concerned......

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Its infuriating isnt it.

 

had a prospective parent in today explained session to her etc and at the end she turned to me and said 'so its very play based here not much teaching.....'

Im afraid i got on my high horse and got out my profiles and planning and bombared her with the lot...i think she left with a different frame of mind............ :o

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i know the feeling!! I have a full on presentation on OHP's that I give to the new parents meeting with the full works, curriculum,planning, schools high expectations, assessment and how I achieve all that through hands on, experiential learning! At least they know I mean business by the end of all that!!

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I am currently writing a uni assignement on mathematical development in early years.

 

I plead ignorance and was unaware that there were five contexts to the use of numbers in daily life and that counting has five distinct principles.

 

Next time a parent comments to me that a child has just (and the emphasis is always on the 'just') been playing with the farm perhaps I will say "yes, and he had a wonderful time and do you know his understanding of the order-irrelevance principle of counting has improved soooo much !!!" :D:D:D

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I know what you all mean about the pressures from Key Stage 1...year 1 in my school keep saying we should start taking away the play to get them ready for a very formal day so they are ready...why cant they work our way & let the children have the play & gently take it away over year 1 (or not as we do know the benefits!!!!)

 

Luckily for me Im moving into a new school with a year 1 class with a head who believes in learning through play & creativity right the way through the school...just wish I could take my Reception class I have now with me as Im not sure how they are going to cope

 

Emmie

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HI & welcome Emmie, thanks for posting!

Its so sad that its the children who suffer, I have 2 school haters on my hands and it always upset me so nuch that my children hated school when I loved it enough to be the teacher. There were of course issues other than play at work but still....

 

Geraldine, try it! :o

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Believe me Susan I am tempted! :o:DxD

 

It's the disdainful look on parent's faces that accompanies the sigh and the "Oh no, JUST playing with the bricks" :(

 

But though I would love to think I will just continue plodding on trying to explain how vital 'play' is. One of my quotesin my assignment (from course material )is "Play has a vital role in the development of maths concepts" Perhaps I could make a poster, with acknowledgment of the author and enlarge it to the biggest size possible and stick it on the entrance door :(

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I send a curriculum letter home to parents each half term which has the medium term planner on it. They get the ELG's we are aiming at and then the areas of activity for every week that will cover them in a grid format. That way interested parents will see that the activities are actually for a purpose.

 

What I also find very frustrating is the lack of interest that the other curriculum coordinators in the school have for the work in FS. They really do not see it as part of the "curriculum" and school based inset NEVER has anything aimed at bringing FS into the mix. I get SOOOO bored!!!!

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I've done that too!! But I then wish the other staff could join in and learn from us. They're getting better, particularly during conversations about creativity and curriculum reform. Although I think they're a little sick of me telling them that all approaches to a creative curriculum are based on "good early years practice"!!

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i've just remembered what else I was going to say; On my displays in the labelling I put info about what ELG it aims at and a bit of "curriculum" blurb for the uninitiated. It helps to educate those who think it is merely playing!

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Why does the foundation stage still have such a mis conception???

I am amazed there are still people out there that do not see the value of play, especially people that are meant to be profesionals!!

I can almost understand parents views because they don't always know what is going on. It still makes me cross though. I work in a private nursery we accept NEG, abide by the foundation stage, encourage ELG, plan and assess the children all the same as LEA nurseries but some of our parents still just consider us no more than glorified babysitters an that the children don't do anything at nursery.

We went on a trip to the zoo last week and a parent came in and said her child wouldn't be coming because they felt she would miss too much if she missed her afternoon at an LEA nursery. I tried to explain that what she would miss at school she would gain on the trip but her mind was made up. It made me so cross because I know she wouldn't have hesitated in taking her out of our setting to attend a trip with the school nursery.

 

That is not meant to insult school nurseries I just wish people with this attitude could recognise the hard work we do. (sorry to go slightly off the subject)

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hi totally agree with all the coments about children playing. I've found a piece from Nursery World that i copied and kept for our notice board, i'm trying to send it but i'm no computer wizard so it may not work. :o

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Hi rea,

 

Would have been interested in reading the article however Windows xp would not open it, did you say it was from Nursery World? What date was it I may have a copy at home I could read.

When I tried to open it windows did not recognise the file that created it???

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Hi all

 

Maybe if these parents saw their children play at pre-school/nursery/school they might change their minds and see just how valuble it is. I work in a Reception class (summer intake). I have been doing some structured activities in the mornings and then independent play in the afternoon. It's great to hear and see some of the playing mimicing the morning activities. For example, some like to play 'schools'. One little girl was the teacher and she was very good at explaining the parts of a plant and the other 'pupils' were eager to answer questions. Another time a small group of children were playing at 'letter sounds' and practising air writing. Some boys like to make things with Lego or stickle bricks and then come and tell you how they made their creations. Yes, it's playing but it's also so much more, think about how many ELG's they have achieved. I'm lucky the parents I have can see the value of play. It must be very irritating for those of you having to 'justify' your actions.

 

mousebat

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